Skarner Build Guide by UltimaFluff
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi, I'm UltimaFluff, I mainly jungle and I have taken an immense liking to Skarner recently. If you are wondering whether or not to buy Skarner, the answer is yes. Maybe you have Skarner already but you've never really learned how to play him or never liked him that much; well if you like to dominate the jungle, you've got to try out Skarner again, don't worry, I'm here to help.
Okay, so the runes that I find are the best for Skarner are movement speed quints, flat armour seals, and flat attack speed glyphs and marks. The reason for the quints is because they scale so well with the mindset you have to take on while playing Skarner (go FAST, ult the carry), and they just increase your jungle speed and rate of ganks. I chose the attack speed glyphs and marks are because they increase early jungle speed (due to attacking more and his passive resetting his spells faster), and because as soon as you hit level six you want to be ganking and clearing your jungle a lot. You'll go into a lane and slow and ult or whatever to complete the gank, then you'll go back to the jungle, reset the cool down on your ult by clearing jungle creeps, then gank again. Simple as that. Now, the reason for flat armour seals and not attack speed is because jungle creeps do physical damage and Skarner needs that early resistance to complete the jungle with ease and safety.
This item build is set up to maximize damage, speed, and tankiness. The Shurelya's Reverie is perfect for cool down reduction, health, and health and mana regen. Also, its active ability is PERFECT for Skarner! You can W for a movement speed bonus, activate Shurelya's Reverie for even more speed, and even ghost if you have to to initiate a gank, a fight, or to chase down the last opponent for that ace. The reason for building Heart of Gold early is because Skarner wants to clear his jungle and then gank and get to mid game fast, the extra gold per 10 from HoG and Philosophers Stone really helps Skarner get to mid game a lot faster, and it's also guaranteed income if your team isn't doing to well. On top of that, it builds into your Randuins later. Merc Treads are pretty self explanatory, Skarner want to be fast but he has no dash like ability, so he is susceptible to being kited, Merc Treads prevent being slowed or stunned for very long. Building a Sheen early game pretty much doubles your damage, every time you Q, your next attack does a bunch of damage, and your Q also slow them so you can stick to them if they are running, the Sheen gives you the ability to 1v1 almost anyone in the early game and will build into Trinity Force later. The Trinity Force give Skarner everything he needs: health, mana, speed, Sheen procs, attack speed, attack damage, ability power, critical chance, and a chance to slow your target on hit. Basically, it stacks perfectly with Skarner, it's a must have item and I don't think I need to explain anymore because it's so awesome. Phantom Dancer is good on Skarner for move speed, attack speed, and the crit, but you might not always want it. if your team has a lot of carry capability already then you may as well build tanky instead, maybe a Force of Nature or Sunfire. Wits end and Randuins are your late game tanky items, it doesn't matter what order you get them in, it depends who is doing the most damage to you: AP or AD. You should be tanky enough to run in and ult the carry in late game team fights by the end of your build.
Smite is a must. If you are in the jungle, it helps you for early game if you are going to start Regrowth Pendant and a potion, also if you want to secure a buff when an enemy is near threatening to take it, a well timed smite secures that buff for you. As far as the team objectives like dragon and Baron go, smite is needed to secure or possibly steal them, making your team ahead in gold (and have the Baron buff). Now, honestly, you can take either flash or ghost, but I feel that ghost scale better into Skarners late game since it's better for chasing or for going in, ulting, and then coming back, whereas flash will get you in to flash, but you won't have much speed while getting out. I admit there are some cases where you'd want to take flash or ghost, like against a team with a lot of dash moves and you want to get close to them easier, but in general I pick up ghost.